Being a #PlantParent is one of the healthiest new trends. Plants offer easy decor, a little something for you to nurture, and so many more benefits related to your health. Some plants clean the air, blocking out toxins and bad smells, while others are natural humidifiers in dry climates. No matter your aesthetic, there is a plant for you. Here are 6 of the easiest starter plants to bring home and love.
Disclaimer: Always be sure to check which plants are toxic if eaten by your pet. While plants tend to only be toxic when consumed in large quantities, it is still good to be informed on which ones might cause your furry friend a stomach ache or worse.
1. Peace Lily
Peace Lilies are the perfect starter plant. They can grow full and tall, or be small counter pieces, depending on how often you change out their pot. These leafy green ladies also bloom when at their happiest, and can continue blooming for three to five years! Not only do they tell you when they need to be watered -- they’re a bit dramatic, drooping and looking totally done for -- making it easy not to overwater, but Peace Lilies clean ammonia out of the air. This makes them a perfect bathroom plant! Peace Lilies also clean the air of formaldehyde and benzene and offer some natural humidity.1
2. English Ivy
Known as the weeds of Seattle, accenting your home with long ivy leaves never goes out of style. Research shows English ivy’s purifying benefits can help people who suffer from allergies, bronchitis, asthma, and more. Part of this has to do with the saponin components in ivy leaves, which help to loosen up mucus and make airway muscles relax. Another benefit of English ivy is its ability to clear facile matter for the air, making it another great bathroom plant. Take care of your English ivy by watering it when the first inch of dirt from the surface is dry (usually, this takes about a week to a week and a half).2
3. Heartleaf Philodendron
Heartleaf Philodendron plants are particularly easy to care for. Simply plop them in a cute pot with a saucer, hang them up anywhere in your house with indirect sunlight, and water it once a week at most. These plants grow and grow and grow, making them one of the best choices for a plant you want to hang across your wall or dance above your head. According to research conducted by NASA, heartleaf philodendron is wonderful at removing formaldehyde from the air, a component commonly found in particleboard3, cigarette smoke, cosmetics, resin paints, perfumes, air fresheners, and adhesives.4
4. Boston Fern
While all kinds of ferns are beautiful and can offer similar benefits, the Boston Fern is particularly great and easy to care for. One of the best natural humidifiers, the Boston Fern is ideal for those who live in a dry climate. They do require a bit more maintenance -- a spritz of water here and there throughout the week -- but this is a plant that gives back. The Boston Fern also helps rid the air of formaldehyde, but it also cleanses the air of the harmful toxins xylene and toluene.4 In addition to misting it throughout the week, water your Boston Fern when the first inch from the surface of the soil is dry (roughly once a week or less).
5. Spider Plants
Spider Plants sound not so nice, but they are one of the coolest plants out there. This is one of the best plants for people who suffer from allergies because spider plants purify the air of allergens and cleanse it of dust! Spider plants also absorb and cleanse the air of toxins such as carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and xylene. Keeping a spider plant alive will look tricky when really they are one of the easiest plants to care for out there. Spider plants lose brown leaves often as they grow, which means you need to be pulling out those dead leaves regularly in order to make room for fresh leaves!5 These plants grow “flower” type bunches which can be cut and used to grow more spider plants, too. The general rule of thumb for all houseplants is to stick your finger in the dirt and water when the first inch or so is dry, but this takes roughly a week for most plants, so getting into the habit of watering them weekly is best.
6. Snake Plant
Snake plants are another easy plant to keep alive, and they add a bit of flair to your desk if you want to bring your plant to work! Used often in hospitals and work offices, snake plants purify the air better than most other indoor plants. They absorb excessive amounts of carbon monoxide while also emitting oxygen, and filtering other toxins from the air such as benzene, xylene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde. Again, kept alive by a weekly watering (oftentimes, even less than that. Snake plants can usually go about a month before getting thirsty).
All of the above plants should be kept in indirect sunlight (meaning indoors, or in the shade, if put outside), and most benefit from a springtime fertilizer. After deciding which plant on this list is best for you (if not all of them), be sure to find pots with saucers attached in order to avoid root rot. Happy planting!